"If you build a handle, the blade will come"

Discussion in 'Handiwork Display' started by Bert2368, Apr 13, 2019.

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums by donating:

  1. Apr 13, 2019 #1

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Hellish frozen Northern wasteland, aka MN
    I am going to re-handle a couple of blades with trashed handles from the junk drawer, then if successful, try a couple of Japanese blades which are new(ish) but came with the very generic white wood handles & flimsy plastic ferules.

    I'm using (free/cheap) materials already on hand. Blades and findings out of the junk drawer, old wood bits left over from former jobs or old projects (hey, it's good and dry by now).

    First step: Taking an old convection oven/toaster with non functional upper (broiler) element and turning it into a WOOD COOKER.

    I am roasting blanks made of some very well dried hard maple, salvaged while remodeling in the 1990s from a kitchen built around 1927.

    Cooking 1.375" square maple blanks at 360 F. for 4 hours. A SWAG as per my interpretation of this thread at "lumberjocks":

    https://www.lumberjocks.com/topics/52092

    Film at 11:00.

    ------

    OK Michi, FREE ICECREAM!!!

    Making 1 3/8" X 1 1/2" blanks out of a 12" piece of nominal 2X maple. The darkened piece of wood on other side of fence from blade is the rest of the salvaged board, about 44" more is left.

    20190412_195932.jpg

    I cleaned up some saw scorch marks on blanks, wanted to see what color changes may occur. It's HARD, dry old wood. I have NO idea why my hands drew registry marks on the board ends before ripping, they didn't consult with my brain on this...


    20190412_195849.jpg

    Blanks go into a countertop convection oven, temporarily set up outdoors. It's snowing here, in case you couldn't't tell.

    Blanks weighed variously, 390, 391 and 396 grams before cooking. Weights were penciled on ends...

    20190412_195804.jpg

    20190412_195727.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  2. Apr 13, 2019 #2

    Michi

    Michi

    Michi

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2019
    Messages:
    682
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    That sounds like a fun project. Almost one hundred year old maple should look great!

    Please post pictures of the process!
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  3. Apr 13, 2019 #3

    McMan

    McMan

    McMan

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2018
    Messages:
    547
    I'm interested to see how this turns out. The link you posted had really nice results with the baking. I have a feeling you might be on to something here...
     
  4. Apr 13, 2019 #4

    inferno

    inferno

    inferno

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2018
    Messages:
    665
    did these taste well after they were done?
     
  5. Apr 13, 2019 #5

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Hellish frozen Northern wasteland, aka MN
    They have another hour + in the oven, I just turned & rotated them at 1/2 way (like pies!).

    At this point, they smell GREAT. Like a slightly smoky shortbread or sugar cookie?
     
  6. Apr 13, 2019 #6

    Michi

    Michi

    Michi

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2019
    Messages:
    682
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Thank you! :)

    No scorching on the wood?
     
  7. Apr 13, 2019 #7

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Hellish frozen Northern wasteland, aka MN
    The sun has gone down now, lighting here is the tiny, dim incandescent built into oven + my LED headlamp, very different from earlier pictures- but.

    The piece in front in below picture was formerly in back/reversed/other side up, and so was in hottest part of oven. Toy oven control only accepts sets in 25 F. increments, so process has been running at 275 F. I REALLY should get out a good thermometer and verify what oven temperature actually is.

    There is a little bit of extra browning on a few of the long edges, otherwise, just getting a nice suntan.

    Will take a better lit picture after they cool. A few checks have opened up on end grain but don't appear to be too deep. Next time, perhaps I could try some Aluminum foil on end grain? Shellac or wax wouldn't take the heat.

    20190412_211704.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  8. Apr 13, 2019 #8

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Hellish frozen Northern wasteland, aka MN
    The maple cookies have cooled off.

    Yes, I burned myself tasting the first one.o_O

    My opinion: This is worth experimenting on, the wood looks nice to me, sands to a glassy feeling surface, no stain is required for a range of tan to brown shades.

    See these pictures of interior of wood, a cross cut (end grain) and a couple of rip cuts at various angles along the grain. I sanded them briefly on the belt sander at 220 and a little longer by hand using 320 wet/dry paper on a sheet of window glass.

    20190412_231403.jpg

    20190413_000328.jpg

    A before and after shot, same pieces, same side/orientation (those registry marks WERE good for something in the end).

    20190412_195849.jpg

    20190413_001033.jpg

    Didn't catch fire, warp, split or check the maple significantly.

    I would recomend starting with blanks large enough to cut at least 1/8" of surface away everywhere in case of scorches, warping, etc.

    I should have used ONE blank in for the first try, experimented with temperature, time on others.

    Stopped at 3 hours and a couple of minutes from time oven reached set temperature, some areas were starting to get browner than I liked.

    I would guess I was on the edge of being too hot, 15 F. above the recommended 360 F. (on this stove's unverified thermostat at least) seems to make a good bit of difference. Next time, I will place a digital thermometer probe in the oven.

    For that matter, I was in too much of a hurry to think of it, but I have a couple of PID temperature controlls with probes designed for the temperatures of molten Lead or type metal alloys, I CAN control the temperature much better with a little work.

    The 3 pieces varied slightly in weight change, losing 12.1%, 13% and 13.4% in the process. After a few days, will weigh the blanks I have not cut or sanded on again.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  9. Apr 13, 2019 #9

    Michi

    Michi

    Michi

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2019
    Messages:
    682
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Looks really nice! If, after the wood having been stored for so long, you still got 13% weight loss, that wood is definitely very dry. I would expect it to re-absorb some moisture from the air. But I suspect you'll have it as stable as it's going to get without stabilising it.
     
  10. Apr 13, 2019 #10

    TB_London

    TB_London

    TB_London

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Messages:
    934
    I’ve had torrified maple on my things to make list for a while, great to see you got good results
     
  11. Apr 14, 2019 #11

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Hellish frozen Northern wasteland, aka MN
    Fire and ice-

    I spent yesterday outdoors working at a snow covered golf course. Someone had planned a nice Spring wedding- Which looked a lot like a winter wedding to ME. I froze my ass off!

    20190413_155712.jpg

    20190413_155620.jpg



    I will get back to fabricating the knife handles after I recover a bit.
     
  12. Apr 15, 2019 #12

    ACHiPo

    ACHiPo

    ACHiPo

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Messages:
    285
    Location:
    E. Bay, CA, US
    Does the darkening go all the way through the maple, or just the surface?
     
  13. Apr 15, 2019 #13

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Hellish frozen Northern wasteland, aka MN
    It goes all the way through, see the first two pictures of post #8 in this thread.

    End grain (first) photo, I have cross cut one of the 12" long pieces in two at center to make two 6" blanks. Wood has uniformly darkened all the way through.

    Second photo, I have ripped one of the resulting 6" blanks down the middle and cut a 45 degree bevel off a corner of the the other blank.

    All cut edges shown in these pictures have been sanded to 320 grit, they feel like glass.

    Lots of wood workers articles on the net about the results of process and uses for the heat treated wood, as here:

    https://robcosman.com/pages/newsletter-article-torrefied-wood

    There are discussions on several guitar forums of the changes in "feel" between toasted and un toasted maple guitar necks & fret boards, most is positive.

    Only downsides I have read about so far: As in most materials, harder usually = more brittle. Some discussion of the treated wood needing to re-absorb 4 to 6% moisture to regain flexibility and being especially brittle until this occurs, even of commercial producers introducing steam to their kilns at end of processing to ensure the treated wood has some moisture in it during kiln unloading & transport of wood.
     
  14. Apr 15, 2019 #14

    merlijny2k

    merlijny2k

    merlijny2k

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2016
    Messages:
    584
    Does this work primarily on maple, a certain class of woods or will any wood do?
     
  15. Apr 15, 2019 #15

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Hellish frozen Northern wasteland, aka MN
    I have known of this technique for less than a week. Some others here knew of it before, apparently.

    The information I have read is largely about hard maple, Martin Guitars and other commercial processors seem to have done a lot of work on this species.

    I do see references to wild cherry and a few other North American native species being heat treated as well.

    Google is probably your friend here. Recomended (desirable?) process temperature/time profiles vs. resulting mechanical characteristics seem to be different for various species.

    I've barely begun to learn about this process and done ONE batch so far. The hardwood distributor's trade association might be a resource?

    http://www.hardwooddistributors.org/postings/what-is-thermally-modified-wood/

    https://www.americanhardwood.org/en/latest/blog/new-opportunities-for-us-hardwood
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019 at 6:31 AM
  16. Apr 16, 2019 at 1:05 AM #16

    milkbaby

    milkbaby

    milkbaby

    Well-Known Doofus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,666
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    Thanks for sharing, that was a really nice color change. Natural maple is often so light colored, this seems to bring out some of the character better.
     
  17. Apr 16, 2019 at 6:45 PM #17

    TB_London

    TB_London

    TB_London

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Messages:
    934
    Works well in maple as the sugars caramelise-(think maple syrup). I’ve seen spruce done but not much else
     
  18. Apr 16, 2019 at 8:59 PM #18

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Hellish frozen Northern wasteland, aka MN
    I just dug out some quartersawn white oak and wild cherry scraps from my collection. Will report further on results after some more baking.
     
  19. Apr 17, 2019 at 4:31 AM #19

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Hellish frozen Northern wasteland, aka MN
    20190416_210603.jpg

    20190416_212905.jpg

    20190416_212944.jpg

    These are going to be the next "heat treating wood for knife handles" test pieces. The blanks are 1 3/4" X 1 3/4" X 12" long. I have another 4' + of the 3 3/4" X 1 3/4" plank left if this is desirable to repeat.

    It is more-or-less quarter sawn white oak- I found this already well aged plank around 1996 in a roll off box sitting across the steeet from my apartment after my friend and neighbor Bob died.

    Bob's family emptied his many decades worth of "someday when I get my 'round to it" wood collecting into said dumpster and sold the house ASAP- You will likely be seeing more of Bob's wood collection, he had good taste.

    Bob, wherever you are, thanks. I'm going to use some of your wood for science!
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 4:36 AM
  20. Apr 18, 2019 at 6:25 PM #20

    inferno

    inferno

    inferno

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2018
    Messages:
    665
    Bert its time you turn those pieces of wood into something useful now. You need to find a donor blade and then make a handle.
     

Share This Page